Are Business Meetings A Waste Of Time?

Are Business Meetings A Waste Of Time?
Do you ever find yourself virtually booked up solid with meetings from time to time? When you run a business, or you are a senior manager in one, have you ever noticed that those ‘quick chat’ meetings turn into full-on, two-hour long drone-a-thons?I know that not all meetings aren’t productive, but the sad truth is – most of them are. Before I became self-employed, I remembered having to go into meetings with managers and meetings with team members.My staff appraisals, for example, were generally a waste of my time and stopped me from doing my job, because my managers sometimes didn’t care about what happened to their employees or the things that affected productivity.

Sometimes they knew the answers to most questions already but they ‘had’ to waste the time asking them again anyway because it was company policy to spend an allotted amount of time with employees in the meeting – so we just ended up talking about any old random rubbish to pass the time.

Unfortunately in the business world, there are times where meetings are a necessity, so here are some ways to help you make those business meetings more productive and less costly in terms of time.

Keep your Meetings Short and Sweet

The idea of a meeting is for everyone involved to have their say about a particular topic, agree on anything that needs to be actioned, and then get back to work. Any time that is spent in a meeting is time that you could be spending being more productive by completing your various tasks.

Therefore, make sure that you only arrange meetings if they are absolutely necessary and stick to the shortest possible time to cover your agenda, even if it means you don’t cover everything on your agenda. Employees need to learn that meetings are only for times where things cannot be easily discussed in an email!

Don’t have a Party

You would not believe the number of managers that virtually invite the whole company for a meeting!

Stick to a limit of only 10 people per meeting, as this will enable you to focus on a specific topic rather than trying to have a massive meeting where employees feel that they cannot contribute because of the number of invitees.

If you feel that you cannot deal with smaller groups of people in a meeting, then it might be worth you hiring the services of a business coach, such as ActionCOACH, to help you overcome any personal obstacles in the workplace.

Keep on Topic

Have you ever noticed that in meetings, people just seem to repeat themselves and then it makes those meetings into a big yawn fest? Have a clear agenda (i.e. a list) of things that need to be discussed, set a time limit for each item, and make sure no-one deviates from the matter at hand.

Avoid Meetings in the First Place

Finally, the one thing you could do is just do your best to avoid going into meetings in the first place! Most of the time, things can be resolved with a quick email or phone call. Many employees are only pro-meeting because it gets them out of having to do any work, which is something you want to avoid!

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